Geçenlerde Yomiuri'de çıkan uzunca bir yazı Zen'in temel felsefesi ve Zen tapınaklarındaki yaşam üzerinde bilgi sahibi olabilirler:
Zen priests' lives of discipline
Dış dünyayla ilişkisi tamamen kesilen öğrenciler vejeteryen yemek, az uyku, dua törenlerine ve derslere katılmak ve sabah erkenden kalkıp toplu temizliğe katılmakla zorunlular. Yazının önemli bazı bölümlerinden alıntılar yaptım, meraklılar için:
...Daijo Ota, a 79-year-old top-ranking monk in charge of general management of the temple, suggests quite the opposite, claiming Eiheiji is a comfortable sanctuary or "greenhouse."
He explains his reasoning: "In the wider world outside the temple, people face many troubles and difficulties every day. Sometimes, no matter how hard a person works, they still have to endure an unsuccessful outcome. Compared to such hardships, Eiheiji is an easy place to live."
Dogen Zenji, founder not only of Eiheiji temple but also the Japanese Soto Zen sect, taught that every act, even the mundane actions of daily life, is directly related to Zen practice. He therefore emphasized that every move--from praying to eating to bathing, and so on--should be regulated by Zen philosophy.
Eiheiji's official textbook provides a basic introduction to Dogen's thought on shoji (the cycle of birth and death) found in "Shobogenzo," which is regarded as his major work.
"This present birth-and-death itself is the life of Buddha. When you simply release and forget both your body and your mind and throw yourself into the house of Buddha then with no strength needed and no thought expended, freed from birth and death, you become Buddha," Dogen wrote.
"Then there can be no obstacle in any man's mind," the book continues, expressing ideals that are more than evident in the exhaustive discipline shown by the unsui at Eiheiji. "Refrain from all evils, do not cling to birth and death, work with deep compassion for all sentient beings, respect those over you and pity those under you, without antipathy or desire, worry or lament--this is what is called Buddha. Do not search beyond it."